Frequently Asked Questions

How will my dog feel during treatment?

When people have Bowen therapy, they often report tingling, heat, cold, feelings of lightness or heaviness, deep relaxation and changes to pain levels or patterns of pain during treatment. I think dogs are likely to experience similar sensations, and they often respond by looking at the area being treated, nibbling the skin, twitching muscles, slowing their movements and changing their breathing patterns.

How is it different from other therapies, such as McTimoney, physiotherapy or massage?

With Canine Bowen Therapy there are no adjustments made to realign the structure of the body. There are no manipulations, no prolonged pressure, and no oils or creams are used. Instead, Bowen moves are made over soft tissue only, with breaks, to allow the body to make its own natural adjustments. Instead of treating the area of concern (for example where there is a neck problem) Bowen will look at the whole body and moves are made over other areas to address possible patterns of compensation that may have set up in the body since the original injury. The treatment does not set out to treat specific conditions or ailments. Instead the body is treated as a whole. Bowen also takes into account the emotional state of the dog and lifestyle issues that may affect its health and the dog is given the opportunity to dictate the pace and duration of treatment, and even which areas are worked over.


How do I get consent from my vet?

Simple - just leave it all to me. When you book in I will need your vet's name and practice details and I will contact them for you. I am pleased to say that most vets recognise the benefits of complementary therapies and are very happy to give their consent.

I've tried other therapies before but my dog is touch sensitive and/or wriggly - would Bowen be worth trying?

For dogs who don't like lots of continuous touch, or who have areas of sensitivity (like their lower back, feet, ears etc) then Bowen can be ideal. Bowen is done with a few small moves with lots of breaks so there is no need for your dog to stay still or to be touched all over. Also, because the moves are done at specific points, the effects can be felt in areas quite far away from the move itself. So, to help a dog with a sensitive back there is no need to actually go to the problem area. I have worked with a number of touch sensitive dogs and they have enjoyed Bowen because they have been given the choice to move away if they need to. The same applies to "fizzy" dogs who find it hard to stay still - they simply do not need to stay still for Bowen.

My dog is very excitable and jumps up, will this be a problem?

No, this is not a problem to me at all. Just let your dog behave naturally and don't feel you have to "keep it under control". I am more interested in your dog being able to be him/herself during the treatment. You might find that treatment helps with this sort of behaviour.

Will my dog need to be lifted onto a treatment table?

No, treatment is carried out on the floor. There is a large, soft mat on the floor which is covered with a fleece blanket.

My dog is very nervous, and I am worried that he/she won't settle in the treatment room.

I am experienced in treating nervous dogs and I know this is a common concern for owners. We will take things slowly. If you know your dog tends to be very worried about new situations perhaps you might like to bring him/her over to see the room, or to meet me before your appointment? There is no extra charge for this.

My dog is scared of the vets, will the treatment be like being at the vets?

My treatment room is set up to be like a normal room in a house, no harsh chemicals are used, no bleaches or medicated cleaning agents that might smell like a veterinary surgery. There is a large padded mat on the floor, with a fleece covering. Your dog will never be forced to accept any physical contact - it will all be on his/her terms. This element of choice is often comforting for a worried dog.


Can I bring a mat or comforter along for my dog?

Yes of course, bring anything along that you think will help your dog settle calmly. Try to avoid bringing toys/treats that might make your dog excited. We want to create a calm, quiet environment and these things can raise your dog's excitement and/or stress levels.

I know my dog won't want to have treatment, so can't you just do the moves while I hold him/her down?

If your dog needs to be pinned down to receive treatment, then Canine Bowen Therapy is not for him/her at this time. It would be unethical for me to attempt treatment under those circumstances. It might be worth considering Canine Canine Bowen Therapy for the future, if your dog is happy to have treatment then. The dog comes first - treatment is never forced on them.

Does treatment hurt?

Bowen should never hurt - it really is as simple as that. This is the real beauty of the treatment. If an area of the body is painful, then Bowen is performed in other areas. Throughout treatment your dog is closely observed and if he or she shows any signs of discomfort (no matter how subtle these signs may be) then treatment is immediately stopped in that area. Bowen is gentle, light and pain-free. There are no manipulations, your dog will need no diagnostic assessments of its range of joint movements. All observations are made through watching your dog move naturally and gently running my hands over its body.

Will Bowen interfere with work I am doing with a veterinary behaviourist?

Bowen can work very well alongside behavioural programmes you may be following under the supervision of a veterinary behaviourist. I am always happy to talk to other professionals about my work so please get in touch if you are in doubt.

My dog is has cancer, can he still have Bowen?

As long as your vet has given consent, Bowen can be given to dogs who are suffering with cancer. Of course, Bowen is not a cure for cancer but treatment may be beneficial whether or not you decide to proceed with medical treatment for your dog's condition. If your dog is having chemotherapy I usually suggest scheduling a Bowen session two days after each chemo session. You may find it supportive to have someone to talk to during this worrying time - I know from personal experience how difficult it can be and there is always time for you to have a cup of tea and a chance to talk through your worries.

My dog has a leg problem, so why are you spending time treating his/her back and neck and not the problem leg?

Canine Bowen Therapy is not a "cure" for a given condition. It is a holistic therapy. This means that I treat your dog "as a whole", not the condition or symptoms. If your dog is limping then you may find that other areas of body will be treated - not just the affected leg. This helps to address other possible imbalances which may have built up as a result of the dog trying to compensate for the original problem.

Do you do home visits?

Yes, I can come to you if your dog cannot travel for health reasons, or you have health problems yourself that prevent you getting to me. There is an extra mileage charge for this service.

How do I find your practice? Is there parking?

My practice is easy to find, Banwell is just a seven minute drive from J21 of the M5 - I will send you straightforward directions when you book. There is plenty of easy parking.

Is Canine Bowen Therapy covered by my pet insurance policy?

Some insurance policies do cover complementary therapies, including Canine Bowen Therapy. As the insurance form needs to be completed by your vet, I supply copies of my invoices to your vet for them to complete the form on your behalf. If you are unsure if your policy covers Canine Bowen Technique, then I would advise you to check with your insurance provider.

Can I bring more than one dog at a time?

This depends entirely on the dogs. Some people bring more than one dog and this can work well. Other times it is more appropriate to bring your dog on its own. Please contact me first to make arrangements for bringing more than one dog into the treatment room.

My dog is having other complementary therapies, is it ok for them to have Bowen at the same time?

It may not be a good idea to have more than one "hands-on" therapy at a time. Firstly because it can be confusing for the body and secondly because you will have no way of telling which therapy is making a difference. For this reason I will recommend that your dog does not receive any other hands-on therapies during the treatment period (McTimoney, osteopathy, Ttouch, massage etc). Some other therapies may combine well with Bowen - homeopathy in particular. Please ask me if you are unsure.

What if I need to cancel an appointment?

If you need to cancel please give me as much notice as possible. Late cancellations with less than 24 hours notice may incur a fee of half the treatment price. If you do not turn up for a booked appointment a full fee will be payable.

How can I tell if an animal therapist is properly qualified to treat my dog?

Below are some guidelines to help you make the right choice in seeking an appropriately trained professional to work with your dog:

  • Are they properly qualified and insured to treat dogs?

Always check that your practitioner is properly qualified to treat dogs. If they are qualified to treat other species then ensure that they are also qualified to treat dogs. Always make sure your therapist has insurance to treat your dog.

  • Are they a member of a professional body? Do they work to a code of ethics and update their skills?

It is worth checking the qualifications your therapist has by looking at their membership of professional organisations. Most organisations will require their members to work to a code of ethics, and to update their skills on a regular basis.

  • Are they working with veterinary consent?

You need the consent of your vet before anyone can treat your animal. Most vets are aware of the benefits of complementary treatments and will readily give their permission for a dog to receive treatment

For your peace of mind, I meet all of the above requirements and you can be confident of meticulous professional standards at all times.

How can I pay?

I accept cash or cheques, to be paid at the end of each appointment.